tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 17, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
>> thank you doctor. we will have questions from the congressman and move left from me. we won't try to limit it to five minutes from each of us. we do not actually have 8 -- mike is doing this manually. we are not high-tech even though we are the high-tech committee. i want to start with the admirable -- the admiral. you actually answered most of my questions. i would ask about what is happening at the academy and the horses offered there. i will not repeat that. let me ask you can give some ideas of how this has caused the naval academy to repair the damage caused by severe storms or what you estimate the cost will be for some of the things you mentioned. v. adm. carter: it is difficult
to put an exact dollar figure to that. i mention the damage caused by tropical storm isabel. that was well over $100 million that was more than just repairing the cost. it gave us more protections. we used that money to build berms, build some of these flood doors and internal pumps. we were able to get that money to make the naval academy better and safer. as you see here on the academy grounds, the majority of the structures here are over 100 years of -- old. from the chapel to where the midshipmen live to many of the buildings here, they were built at the turn-of-the-century. there is a cost to maintaining them and making sure they can handle rising waters and major
events. we do, within the budget we work with in the navy, have announced money to handle some of these upgrades we are handling over the long term. the cooper road project at some of the others. as we do some of these other projects, whether it be setting up a new advisory committee, we are able to do those in the conscience of the funding we have -- in the construct of the funding we have. but i have not gone to congress to ask more particular moneys. this cyber bullying will be a new academic building and a source of flood reduction for that part of the yard. to say i have a specific number to say this is what we are spending per year on what protection would difficult within my normal operating budget. there are moneys that come from
naval facilities that support us in that effort. >> thank you. let me ask the mayor. according to a special investigative report, historic downtown annapolis got at least half a foot of flooding or high tides. how has this increase in the nuisance flooding impacted community and local businesses. what are they saying to you about this? have you heard from mayors from other coastal towns who have to deal with the impacts of climate change? mr. pantelides: i serve under maryland municipal league. there are 157 cities in maryland close to the water -- and a lot of them are close to the waters. it is something we talk about. and there is consensus. i talked about politics outside of ec out of the 157 cities in maryland, only four have partisan elections.
in annapolis, it is a big deal. there is a lot of concern from business owners. what are we doing proactively to address it because they are seeing it more and more every day. we have a great partnership with a plan in place. we just need the funding. >> i will skip mr. baker, because my questions were about rock fish and striped bass. you mentioned that on the one hand, the rock fish are back but on the other, what is happening in terms of climate change could really impact them. if you want to add to them or did you pretty much explain it to us? mrl baker: what are they big concerns is a wasting disease called mycobacterial cyst. there is no absolute knowledge as to what causes it. but when fish are stressed, they are more prone to disease. the general thinking is that a
fish under stress has more problems than one that is not. the population is starting to get again -- dip again. >> let me go to dr. ekwurzel. in a recently released climate 2014 report that represents data from scientists around the globe, you gave us a lot of information about an annapolis and maryland. if i could go beyond that according to the state of the climate 2014 report, 2014 was the warmest year in the historical record. 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 18 years worldwide. if you could talk more globally. the average global surface temperature in 2014 was roughly half a degree above the 30 year average. it does not sound like a lot but what does that increase have?
and heat content has increased in the ocean significantly. how does that impact us on land? dr. ekwurzel: those are disturbing trends. even just a couple months ago noaa found that the global surface temperatures on the action have been hottest men we have ever had combined with the land. for example, when there was extreme inland flooding in texas and oklahoma where tragically a lot of people lost property and loss of life, the hugely warm waters of the gulf of mexico bringing in a sure precipitation and fueling some of the intense thunderstorm activities are something that are causing in the concerns for those living along river valleys. would be tropical storms, you mentioned irene oh science is
showing warmer oceans are -- when hurricanes form, they carry more precipitation. as it moves inland, it is dumping intense levels of precipitation. you are washing out bridges in vermont. the bull's-eye is causing incredible damage to people not used to having their basements flooded. black mold. lots of costs. children, you do not want to be exposed to that. the other effect is the wildfires. some areas have too much rain and we had intense wildfires. alaska is burning. the pacific northwest. we do not have enough resources to fight all these fires now. part of that is because of the polar jet stream pattern that set up this intensely -- relentlessly high pressure which, relating back to sea ice
decreasing in the high north. that means alaska down to california mn's drought conditions. we get a lot of our food from the central valley of california. almonds. lots of economic damage related to shifting climate and the extremes of setting up. dry places are getting extremely dry. and other places are getting too much rain all at once. and high flash flood risk. this is the type of situation. climate change means we need to get used to more extremes. our infrastructure of the past century is not built to handle that type of extremes that so-called mother nature is throwing out us with a little assist by human activity. >> thank you. >> mayor council leaders -- pantalides, you mentioned you
had 150 people at a town hall meeting recently. what are residents saying to you? i know you mentioned who would take responsibility, local, but what is the basic input they are providing to you and how are they projecting their own willingness to be responsible for the solutions? mr. pantelides: it was an interesting town hall. different than most we have. because we have so many key people involved. people from the insurance company who have an interest on updated fema maps. you have residents concerned about their property. if it will rise this much where will they move it all. it has been very rewarding to tackle this challenge. i am glad to say it has finally gotten attention in local media.
for too long, probably even in d.c. as well, it is an issue worked on but not talked about. but now people are engaging. i want to mention some of my colleagues from the city council as a talk about partnerships. i cannot do without them. ottoman kirby, on a woman -- half of my counsel is here. they have been big supporters as well. >> thank you. admiral carter, i am curious to the same kind of question. the students taking these courses you mentioned tell me about the perspective they are bringing and the level of enthusiasm and interest of the issue, which i imagine is helping inform the naval academy in terms of the kind of focus it should have on these issues. i am interested in the
perspectives of midshipmen have on the offerings enable academy provides. adm. carter: before i answer that, i want to highlight my new comment on midshipmen. he just came on board this summer as a full bird colonel. he is leading the brigade of midshipmen. he is now on his 2.5 weeks of leaving the class of 2019, the freshman class on board. they had their first formal parade. this is key to your answer. these are the talented young men and woman you provide to us from your districts representing every state and every voting district in the country. i am proud of the talent that families of -- that family send us to the naval academy. we have 25 academic majors at the naval academy. we focus heavily on science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics. about 65% of graduates lead here in a discipline involved in some sort of scientific endeavor. oceanography is one of our science majors. i am an oceanography major myself, graduating from here in 1981. it is one of our more popular majors. i believe midshipmen see it as a technical science and a science that has application to what they will do, whether they will be an aviator, a marine, fighter pilot, submariner. it impacts all of their communities when they go serve. the talent we get at the naval academy is such that many are finishing 140 credit core curriculum that they have to to have the graduate here in less than four years. regardless what their major is a lot of them are able to go into advanced studies, which we do with partner colleges and
universities, or get involved in capstone projects. this is the area where midshipmen can do additional work, some blinds -- sometimes in the disciplines we are describing here. understanding climate change. many of our oceanographers go on international trips. we have sent some of our midshipmen down to antarctica to do ice measurements. midshipmen are out there, doing cutting edge research and development as part of their curriculum here. that is not just so they can be smarter when they graduate. we believe that part of our charter here is not just to prepare these young men and women to be future commissioned officers in the navy and marine corps, we believe they will be the talent to help solve these problems. we want to keep them fired up about these challenges. >> thank you. will baker thanks for speaking
from the heart, as you always do. can you talk about what you hear in terms of the economic impact of these challenges to the day -- bay. often, we can put an exclusive environmental lens on it but i imagine businesses are coming to you all the time and expressing their anxieties related to the fortunes of the bay. if you could describe that with more detail, i think it will drive home why economic opportunity and empowerment is in line with preserving and protecting the bay. mr. baker: about a year ago, we began working with a distinguished economist who works in academia in virginia and maryland. we asked him to assess the value of the jessica biel a -- of the chesapeake bay and the what is
up to the economy of its region. now. if it has improved. and if not addressed. the numbers are staggering. the current economic value of the bay, environmental value to the economy, is about 100 $7 billion annually. if they clean water blueprint is successful, by 2025, that value could increased to almost $130 billion annually. if we are not successful, it will decrease. in terms of echo system's service to the numbers are staggering. but when you get down to individuals who are making their livelihood, certainly commercial water men, charter boat captains people involved in the tourism industry, the impact is dramatic and immediate as well. when you talk to folks on smith,
tangier, across the eastern shore, and team here -- and you hear how their livelihoods have been impacted in the last 35 years, it is extraordinary. you could go blonde -- beyond that. seafood restaurants. the impact of the chesapeake day on our region, someone once said if you look at a telephone book from a major metropolitan area, the number of columns that use chesapeake in their name is staggering. this is our identity. we cannot let it go. >> thank you. i have a question for dr. ekwurzel if we could, back around. you are conveying better than anyone in this room could the urgency of the issue.
it appears that what i am hearing from climate scientists and -- in the testimony we get on this issue is how things are accelerating. it is not a linear progression right? you know even three to five years ago as we were projecting out, it was still an abstract concept for a lot of folks. we would talk about these scenarios about the future but they are really here now. you talk about the life of a mortgage, getting to places where you will have 300 to 400 flooding events in the city of annapolis. you talk about a high trajectory path and a low trajectory path. can you comment briefly on the concept of the acceleration of the impact that is happening?
i think that is creating an urgency that ought to make this the number one overarching focus of policymakers in many places. dr. ekwurzel: absolutely. these are impacts we are feeling already. we are playing catch-up. you -- as a scientist, i see all the curves for how fast this is taking off. we have barely tasted what is in store. we are at the point where how we make the changes over the next 10 years really do play out. whether we go the low emissions are high emissions pathway make a a difference on lives, the economy, and cost of doing business anywhere along the coast. as well as the interior. doing emissions reductions is one of those adaptation costs
that is the type of floats all boats. when we reduce the pace of change, it allows the mayor of annapolis, the naval academy, to put in flood harriers at a more cost-effective way and do plans that are reasonable and not hurting the economy as much as if we keep reacting. we are ready to take off, and if we can avoid that, it makes a world of difference. it is the difference between suffering and a somewhat manageable world, as some say. >> thank you. congressman tonko. mr. tonko: thank you. the stewardship, vice admiral that comes under the navy is so important. i think you and the navy and the military in general for addressing climate change. when i look at operations that are far inland like that in
saratoga that i represent and some of our coastal situations like norfolk and an output there is no denying that as we create in these perfect storms, if you will ask spoken to by congress and van hollen, it is impacting some of the most unstable -- the fight for available land, the hardships with droughts and flooding. it will impact people who can least and your around the world. it is obvious this becomes an issue of national security. given that and recognizing the navy is speaking to these concerns, where is the prioritization within the navy? how would you characterize that? is it a concept that has risen to the higher levels of priority? adm. carter: sir, first i want
to make sure everyone recognizes that i represent the naval academy, but i will not do not i have served 34 years in the navy and sailed many of the oceans and gone on many of the aircraft carriers and ships. from my personal opinion, i believe our u.s. navy and our department of defense has raised this to a high level. rear admiral jonathan wight, the oceanographer of the navy, he leads a panel called the navy task force climate change that has multiple partners in the navy to take an operational risk of some of these challenges. they are trying to apply science. apply the database see so we're not leaning forward and understand what these future challenges are. i also gave you my global view as a sailor. i think everyone here would
agree that earth is covered by 70% water. as an navy, that gives us a big care in which to patrol with our ships. we are a global navy. we go from the streets to the coast. this is the environment in which we operate. 90% of all global trade most through the water, specifically through key choke points like the suez canal, panama canal. as a u.s. navy, we have the responsibility to work with maritime partners -- the coast guard, marine corps, merchants -- to make sure those sea lanes of communication remain open because our world trade requires that. as we look at the science and the risk analysis of what is happening, those are potential risk areas. i was the admiral in charge of the uss enterprise years ago and
all these ships in that carrier strike group. beyond operations in afghanistan, we were charged to go through the strait of hormuz to make sure that that particular waterway remained open as the threat of the uranium's west to potentially do something there to disrupt trade and movement of oil through that strait. we took that aircraft carrier through the strait 10 times in 2012. the temperature there is often above 90 degrees in the summer. it approached almost 100 degrees that summer. it is a difficult place for anyone to operate, regardless what kind of equipment you are working with. as we have talked about, on our journey home, one of the greatest environments of disasters known to man was hurricane sandy. i had the distinct bad timing to
have to bring enterprise home right in the middle of sandy. so as we came through the strait of gibraltar, we threaded the needle between three tropical storms. sandy was the lesser of the three as she was warming. and then our journey home across the atlantic was to deal with hurricane sandy in a way that we were -- we were worried about our homes on the eastern seaboard. i also had 55 men and women on an aircraft carrier, a cruiser, and three destroyers in company with us, going through sees that exceeded well over 20 feet. water came up over the enterprise 60 feet above the water across the mid atlantic. i was 1000 miles away from sandy. she had not even been category five yet. i saw firsthand what it is like to deal with a storm of that amount of two -- that category. due to a lot of hard work, we
did not damage any equipment. enterprise came home on all eight nuclear reactors. all 60 plus of my combat aircraft flew off. they were all worried about water intrusion. and what i did to the u.s. here. the other part of that 70% water, 90% trade is one of the most important aspects. that is 80% of not only the u.s. but the world population living within 500 miles of the shore. as we look at the impacts of the sea level rise and what it has been in the chesapeake, that has an impact. it is something we are not only worried about here. i know the u.s. navy is in close attention to it. as we set up our own advisory committee there and make sure we understand what the local impacts are i know that our united states navy is taking a
look at this at a much larger scale to help not only protect what we know from the past and have solutions for the future. mr. tonko: looking through the lens of the military, you would think that would be enough to push the moral compass and washington to get this resolved. mayor, you mention the order of planning required for you and members of the city council. what sort of relief would be doable, do you think, if the federal portion were a true player in this regard? would you think that the major piece of the pie, one million plus? mr. pantelides: one million plus for the design phase. it puts it into perspective. our total perspective is $98 million. i will say that the superintendents leadership with the two courses offered
academically and the capstone chances they have, we think we can make annapolis the model. i think it has a big impact for legislatures in the state. the delegation has over 47 senators. 140 delegates. they all live here three months out of the year. a quarter of their lives in an annapolis. we will have an opportunity to see it. i think is the funding was in place, our public works director with the navy. we have the talent, opportunity and skill set to make a significant impact. >> in the eye of a visitor, you can sense that richness of heritage and history. we were contacted in my congressional district by irene and leave. there were tremendous damages that impacted our
infrastructure, which is difficult to replace. i think we need to be sensitive to that as well. and to mr. baker, the construct of the chesapeake bay, albeit a maryland designation, is dealing with a multistate impact. is there talk amongst your group about the issue of boundaries state boundaries whatever political lines coming into play with this discussion of climate change. it takes these incidents to realize we are linked. if you could share the state culture that addresses this issue. mr. baker: as we were talking about before the hearing started, the environment and everything about the environment knows no political boundaries. if you look like -- if you look at a watershed like the chesapeake bay, and global
climate change mitigation, the only jurisdiction of government that can treat this system the way science tells us we must is the federal government. the federal government has been through epa, usda, and others, a great partner with the state. the states and federal government have entered into this partnership willingly. we see this as the real hope for the future. and that this effort now, the third major one in 30 years, has the potential to be a game changer, if, in fact all players there at the table. >> it is national strategy and that is why the president had an executive order because congress did not act and they had plenty of time. we are still trying to accept the notion that we should be addressing the concept. doctor you spoke in your "encroaching tides" study, you
speak to be high and low and mission issues. can you elaborate on that a bit more? by the way, when you talked about irene and lee, and the heavy amounts of precipitation in my district -- 14 inches within less than 24 hours. neighboring communities got perhaps three. not only was it saturation of precipitation dr. ekwurzel: it is very difficult to plan for the extremes that climate can deliver. it is on a scale that we just have not had to face in the past so the past is not helping us. the difference is really, local communities dealing with the flooding of irene or annapolis is it really fair to ask the
local community to bear the brunt of the cost when many of us have contributed to this challenge and again, the federal government has a key role to play. either we are reacting to disasters or we are proactive planning for the 2030, the time of a mortgage, and making plans with local community input that is so key. having the decision support that all our federal agencies can provide that help planners. the two levels of planning, i say we should mitigate for the low submission scenario but adapt and plan for the high emissions scenario. let's give an example, in new york. let's say kings point, new york, if we prepare that community by 2045 for 62 flooding events but let's reduce emissions and we
will be protected because maybe it will be 67 flooding events if we reduce the emissions of the united states and global partners around the world. it will be much safer. >> thank you. that is music to the ears of an engineer to hear planning time and time again. >> congressman van hollen. mr. van hollen: i want to join my colleagues in thinking everyone for their testimony. it helps provide real texture and specific examples of costs that are being incurred on a real-time basis. as i see it, there are two types of costs, the costs we are incurring for much more intense and extreme weather events caused by climate change, and there are the costs of mitigation to try to reduce the impact of those.
they all add up. mr. mayor, you talked about the town hall where people were trying to decide who would help to the bill for the mitigation cost. is it the city of annapolis, is it the state #the reality -- is it the state? the reality is, these costs are being driven in many cases by a lack of action at the national level and the international level. and so i think the first thing we have to do is make sure the public understands, and i think they increasingly do. testimony like you are giving today in terms of people who are in charge of a city and a facility, and you add up the cost and multiply it by the cities around the country and other facilities around the country, that is a big deal. the mayor talked about the insurance agents being present
at the meeting, and that is just to look at the flood maps of the city of men annapolis -- city of annapolis. the increased insurance rates americans will be paying are going up and up and up. big cost. i think it is really important to collect this testimony as part of our argument to the public about the need to make the kind of changes that dr. court saw and mr. baker and the rest of you were saying at the national level. there is a huge costs differential between the business as usual path and the path where we actually begin to address this issue. i do not know, doctor, if you could tell us what policies you believe are necessary at the federal level in order to get off the business as usual path. dr. ekwurzel: i think we do need a preparedness planning and
assistance, and not just disaster response. that is very important. there are wildfire disaster bills before congress. also, we need to have the externality of the price on fossil fuel carbon burning so that we can pay for the adaptation cost, help with planning for the system -- for the future, and making the costs more manageable. there are lots of subsidies and even if that money was just stopped, that would bring money back to the state coffers, the federal coffers who could help states and local communities prepare. not even a price, a new price, and at a price, but stopping the fossil fuel subsidies to change
that calculus of the economic incentive we need to have some resources to better plan. in the long run it is much more cost-effective than just responding to these extreme events. >> we are actually making things worse in two ways, right? by subsidizing the fossil fuels and we are making it worse to lack of action to increase, not just get rid of subsidies that actually put a price on carbon. i would like to ask you, mr. baker, about the impact on the warming water. mr. sarbanes asked you about the economic value of the bay. it has huge value to the state and the country and the world beyond just the economic value but the economic value is huge and is essential to the state of maryland in terms of tourism and
the rockfish and the oysters. as i look at your report, you point out that there is, based on the intergovernmental panel on climate change model, the waters of the day could potentially rise -- the waters of the bay could potentially rise i five degrees celsius by 2070 22099. i am not a biologist, but there are some things you cannot mitigate if you get into that kind of territory, like whether or not certain species survive are not. i would be interested, if there has been an analysis on what the impact to the bay resources would be if the temperatures really went up to something like five degrees celsius. mr. baker: water temperature is one of the most a sick measurements that science takes
as something we do on all of our educational field trips. any time anything near that level of increase, let's just take two examples. number one eelgrass, the dominant species of underwater grass in virginia. it really cannot survive above 80 degrees. you lose the eelgrass, you lose the crab population, and it cascades through the system. the second is, warm water does not hold as much oxygen. we have a severe problem of low dissolved oxygen in the chesapeake day and that will only get worse. to your prior question, when i talked to some of my friends who are climate deniers, i say let's stop the argument about whether or not it is true or not. are you against reducing pollution? oh, no, we are not against reducing pollution.
addressing long-term climate problems is all about reducing pollution and that is the two sides of the same coin, one plus one equaling three. it also creates jobs, over and over and over again. we see that ways of reducing pollution and doing things differently requires new technologies demand new jobs new investments. there is absolutely no reason why we should not be proceeding down this path with all delivered speed. it will help every aspect of our society. >> thank you, mr. baker. i think clearly the responsible thing to do is to plan for what we see happening in terms of the impact of a climate change. but we would be totally irresponsible if we do not work from the other end in terms of trying to reduce the increase in climate change when we know that
is -- that it is within our power to reduce the impact. there are some things that cannot be mitigated. if you have a five degrees celsius increase in the temperature in the day and it wipes out species -- in the bay and it wipes out species, it is hard to mitigate. as we plan to dress these challenges, we have got to on an emergency basis put in place policies at the federal level to begin to reduce the overall threat of climate change directly. if we were to have a disease here, i think we would be spending lots of money as a country to treat the disease. but we would also have a full-blown effort to try to come up with a vaccine that gets at the root causes to prevent people from getting the disease. we have to do the treatment and address the cause. thank you.
>> thank you. i guess we have been here about an hour and 45 minutes and i do not want to keep everybody much longer. i think it has been extremely worthwhile in terms of questions, the responses, what we have gathered today. i do not want to stop anybody. if any member of the panel has to ask something else or make an additional comment, or if our witnesses feel like they want to add something. >> chairman, if i could just briefly tossed out, one of the tough lessons learned and experienced in superstorm sandy and irene was the impact on utility infrastructure, and what survived and what did not. obviously being there, when we saw many going without utility service four days upon days
impact on small business culture, and certainly on households and household budgets. do you want to just give a brief statement about any ideas you have about that utility infrastructure, that recalculation of thinking that we need to do in order to again do the preventative therapies, which are hypo advanced but they were real lessons learned. hopefully we won't respond in a way that hosts -- boosts those concepts that work. mr. pantiledes: in terms of utilities, the city of annapolis has taken on an ambitious goal, currently working to have the largest solar part on a landfall -- park on a landfill. we have an old landfill that is covered up, let's make it an asset. we are going to vote on it turning it over to a private
party and installing solar panels. dr. ekwurzel: congressman -- mr. baker: congressman, a lot of the actions we did were to relocate a lot of our -- adm. carter: the hvac unit was moved, the artillery units were moved. there is no telephone poles no high wires on the campus so most of the power lines, all of the cabling, all of the steam lines, everything runs pretty much underground. we went through and did a significant overhaul of that to make sure that those key elements of that are placed in those tunnels and placed such that when water does go in there they are not at the bottom. that was all done to make sure
in a risk management of knowing that we are going to have three categories of flooding, a nuisance flooding, the flooding that happens after a major rainfall, and then of course the big event, how do we mitigate that so we minimize the amount of damage? finally i would just like to say, we are the navy and we operate and live at sea level. this property here, 338 acres much of it was reclaimed from the river and the creek. we are where we are and we teach our midshipmen from day one time and tied for nation -- tight formation wait for no one. >> i want to thank the panel and make a couple of closing comments. i also want to recognize the members of the annapolis city council who are here and thank them for their good work in stepping up to this challenge. each of our witnesses, your testimony has been powerful and
will be very useful for us as we go back to washington to try to continue to push forward. thank you, mayor pantiledes for having the city of annapolis host us. thank you, vice admiral carter for not just hosting us that for everything you do here. it is a source of incredible pride for all members of congress when we have the opportunity to nominate people to the various service economies, including the naval -- academies, including the naval academy. i want to salute again the members of the audience who have come, all of whom bring a deep interest in the issue of climate change. i want to try to not overstate the urgency dimension of this. congressman van hollen presented
this scenario, if there was a disease out there that was looming before us that posed the same kind of threats in terms of , not impact on infrastructure, not on nature perhaps, but just the human threat. it seems as if that was coming from any other place every command center in the country would be occupied right now and congress and state legislatures would be meeting in emergency sessions to deal with the threat. we need to move to that level of urgency. if we are going to address this before these trajectories overcome us and the for it is too late. i hope this testimony that we received today will be helpful in conveying that sense of urgency to our colleagues and to the wider congress. i know the audience is activated
behind the importance of this issue and we will continue to work with everyone for whom this is a real priority. thank you, chairman, for coming to the annapolis naval academy to be part of this hearing, and thank you to all of our witnesses. >> i could not have asked for a better group of witnesses to basically relate some of our concerns and give us some important information. if any of you wanted to add something you have not had a chance to say, speak up. this truly was, you probably say he says that to everybody, that we really do not. some of our congressional hearings are rather boring and not terribly helpful but this one is not in that category you think you -- in that category. thank you. [applause]
reporting michael grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison for misconduct. he was sentenced at the brooklyn courtroom around noon today. chen had choice words for him including "his moral compass needed some reorientation." he was indicted -- that report from roll call. coming up in about 10 minutes we will take you to the latest briefing from nasa on the pluto flyby. officials will reduce -- release more photos and information. our live coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. we will show you the briefing from just the other day.
>> good afternoon welcome to the johns hopkins applied physics laboratory and laurel, maryland. to set the stage for today's press conference, please welcome to the podium associate administrator for nasa's science and, dr. john grimes felt. [applause] >> welcome, everyone. it is a full auditorium at the johns hopkins university applied physics lab. i was a little worried no one would show up. [laughter] >> actually, i was not worried at all. did anybody get sleep last night?
i am not going to ask the team because i think they were probably pretty excited about this morning's data pass. i want to take you on a short two were to frame the discussion to her to frame the discussion. the first photo was taken about two hours ago. i hope you recognize that object , and i think you know where we are going. mercury, from the messenger mission. venus from magellan. if anybody does not recognize the next planet i would like you to leave the auditorium. security will escort you to area 51. [laughter] [applause] >> the red planet mars, i had to get a hubble image in there somewhere. [applause] >> i realize i missed a series.
jupiter, with some of the jovian moons in shadow from the galileo spacecraft. saturn, what a wonderful mission. this is just a striking issue. uranus, so they made a wisecrack that i put it in sideways. neptune, and for a grand finale i turn it over to alan stern the principal investigator of the pluto new horizons mission. [applause] >> before return it over to alan, i have a few words to say. yesterday,'s america's program
took another historic leap for mankind. the new horizons team is bringing what was previously a blurred point of light into focus. where our presentations from our panel will open up with questions from the media here on social media, and we will go to the phone lines. you can join the conversation on social media, twitter, facebook, at hash tag plutoflyby. we will be online at www. nasa.gov/new horizons. you have heard from dr. john grimes felt.
alan stern needs no introduction so i will go to kyle weaver who is the scientist from the johns hopkins laboratory. he will be followed by kathy okun, deputy scientists. and john spencer another new horizons coinvestigator in the southwest research institute. with that, alan, it is all yours. >> i had a pretty good day yesterday, how about you question mark -- how about you? [applause] >> while new horizons is more than a million miles on the other side of pluto, that is how
fast we are moving, having made close approach yesterday morning, it communicated with the earth again for a number of hours this morning beginning about 5:50. we got data down from five of the scientific instruments are ready and we will report on some of those results. frankly, we're just giving the top of it. there is a lot in the things we will talk about. we have big news from the first resolved image of hydra, pluto's most active moon, we discovered that charon has been active. [applause] >> and there are mountains in the kuiper belt. this system is amazing. all of our news today relates to the surfaces of pluto and its satellites. we will be talking more about the surfaces in the press event
on friday down in nasa headquarters, but we will also be bringing in atmospheric results at that point. i do want to put one piece of news, the ellis ultraviolet spectrometer has a great data set from the ground for the you -- and we are learning things about pluto's atmosphere so stay tuned. i am going to turn it over to how weaver on our project scientist. he will give you a little bit of hydrotherapy. [laughter] >> thank you very much. pluto and charon will steal the day for today but let's not forget that pluto has for small moons as well that we want to collect data on, starting from closest to pluto going out is styx makes, curb risk, and hydra. this morning, we got the first
really well resolved images of hydra, which is shown in front of me here. it is two miles per pixel. this is about the same number of pixels across hydra that we had in pluto in mid june, so we are ecstatic about this. prior to the new horizons' revealing, we were completely uncertain about how big hydra was. it could have been 20 miles across or 100 miles across. new verizon's has made it easy. just count the number of pixels across -- new horizons has made it easy. just count the number of pixels across. 30% larger in one dimension than the other. there is some very interesting things about hydra. you see some variations across the surface. if you can go to the next slide
what we did here was subsample the image by a factor of four so it was subsample to take away that pixelated look. as well contours showing the brightness changes, and we took cuts across to measure the approximate places where you have the longest dimension in the green and the shorter dimension in the yellow. the surface of hydra is surprisingly large, about 45% reflectivity. about 45% of the sunlight gets reflected a way, and that can only mean that hydra's surface is probably composed primarily of water-ice. that is the only way to get it that bright, and that is cool. [laughter] >> it is intermediate brightness between karen and pluto.
we have some more observations of hydra, so we are looking forward to those. it is great, we have already seen hydra revealed, and it looks very interesting. thank you. [applause] >> will grundy leads our composition team and is going to report some results. >> the ralph instrument is the instrument we are relying on mostly for surface compositions, and it is composed of two parts, the color camera and interest -- in frustration -- infrared -- what i'm showing you is some data that came down in the failsafe data set that came down overnight between the 12th and 13th.
this is a little earlier. this is a base map showing did you -- showing you the geometry. could i have the next timestamp? this is an overlay of lisa data, so what i did is, each of those large blocky pixels are about 150 kilometers across aren't infrared spectrum. it tells us what that pixel is made out of. we will get much higher resolution data than this but this is what is in the failsafe data set. we get 256 infrared wavelengths so we could make an enormous variety to pull out compositional information. this particular one is focusing on methane. i put an absorption band at about 1.56 microns into the blue cover channel.
a continuing region between two methane bands in the green channel, and a much stronger methane band into the red channel. all i am doing is showing again at lower resolution; images yesterday, the diversity of terrain. i am going to pick out a couple of specific regions, although you can see that there is many different regions here. these two regions of interest one is a3x3 pixel block. >> the briefing from earlier this week on pluto. we will take you to nasa for the latest images and coverage. >> the research team has begun sharing the unprecedented images and signs findings with the world. and today, they have more. ladies and gentlemen, this mission has clearly been embraced by the entire world of all ages.
the numbers that are coming in with multimedia, social media the internet, radio tv is in the billions. we also want to give a nasa headquarters shout out to the johns hopkins physics laboratory in laurel, maryland for the unforgettable moments at their facility this week. we have now transitioned to nasa with a future media briefings will be here. we will have brief presentations and then we will open it up for questions starting here. on nasa centers, social media, and the phone lines. social media is absolutely exploding with this mission. follow the conversation at #pluto flyby. if you have questions, send them in at #asknasa. certainly all
the information you have been hearing you will here today and in the weeks and months will be online at www. nasa.com -- -- nasa.gov/new horizons. allen stern, new horizons principal investigator, the southwest research institute in boulder, colorado. randy gladstone, new horizons coinvestigator at southwest research institute in san antonio. friend bag and all university of colorado, older. and jeffrey moore, at nasa's
ames research center. turn it over to you, dr. greene, to kick it off. dr. green: today we're going to talk about some of the fantastic discoveries at the heart of pluto but we will talk a little bit about the heart of the new horizons mission. i want to thank apl for all the work that they have done making this mission happen. there's a whole series of contractors and industry community that has made this mission the spectacular success that it is. apl hosted a fabulous historic event this week that many attended. millions attended virtually. which has really been captivating. in particular, the heart of new
horizons is beating and beating well and beating still. was put on and produced by the department of energy, one of our major government partners with its radioisotope power, enables us further out into the solar system and is on a trajectory to leave. currently, if i can have our first graphic, here we see new horizons past pluto. this is through the solar system that you can get access to on the web. it is more than 2 million miles away from pluto for 10 years or nearly 10 years, the new horizon team were talking about, each day we are closer to pluto. now each day we are further away from pluto. it is during this time that we are going to be able to obtain
the data from the flyby. right now, we have only received 1% to 2% of that data on the ground. next week, we will have this much as 5% or 6% so some of the discoveries that you will be hearing about today has only been the tip of the iceberg and the few percent we were able to get down since the encounter on tuesday night. without further a do, let me turn it over to duane to introduce our next speaker. >> allen, go for it. someone who does not need an introduction. >> we are happy to be here and i want to say on behalf of our entire team, we have had the most fun communicating about exploration and about just how exciting solar system exploration is this week. i think pluto is becoming a brand, sells itself.
we do not really have to work all that hard. i do want to recognize the team members who are here. we have quite a number of members of the new horizons mission team. stand up to be recognized. [applause] >> we also have, and i would like you to recognize some new horizons mission educators in the audience. if you would stand up to be recognized. [applause] >> and then finally i would like to recognize one of our science team collaborators who has come over from europe to help us work with the data. some of the -- some of you may know dr. brian may. [applause]
>> i am the guy, i am one of those people in europe who has been following your every move on our laptops and tvs in our offices and bedrooms. it is a thrill to be here, what an amazing achievement. you have inspired the world. thank you. [applause] >> while you enjoy this beautiful eye candy of the pluto system has revealed by new horizons in color, you see a binary planet. enjoy that view while i tell you a little bit of news about the new horizons. we are a little over 2 million miles on the far side of pluto. the spacecraft is performing according to plan.
we are now in the first of our departure science load so we're looking back at the planet in that special geometry, looking at the night side, and doing various experiments. and splitting our time doing -- down linking data. we have some big news and i expect we will have more big news next friday when we had downloaded even more. i will have to tell you, i am a little biased but i think the solar system save the best for last. [laughter] >> i'm going to start off with the little news and i will pass it along to my colleagues. if i could have the next timestamp, the next graphic. let's see if we can bring that up. that is not very many pixels across but that is the satellite in its first well resolved image. let's set your expectations properly. as little as three months ago
we did not have pictures of pluto this good. this is actually twice as many pixels as the best earth-based pictures of pluto. we were able to determine its size, about 25 miles across. we were able to measure its brightness, its brightness, it's intermediate and brightness between sharon and pluto. we are looking roughly down the pole of an elongated object. not as elongated as this can. -- this pen. we are looking down the barrel of it right there. we will have more to say about next when we get more imagery. i will move to the next timestamp. this is an overlay of some data from the ralph instrument from the composition mapping spectrometer that the first time identifies the location of a carbon monoxide-rich region on
pluto that have been observed on earth for quite a long time. now we can overlay on a map, that is a new horizons map product overlaid with contours for the abundance of carbon monoxide. you can see the peak is on the western side of the heart. very nice to be able to do that. it is pretty concentrated spatially. we are not sure we understand that, understand the origin of that. it could be there is a source region there and we will be looking for it hard, or there could be another explanation but either way, it definitely catches our i because across the rest of this disc, there is no other carbon monoxide concentration like this. it is a very special place on the planet. randy shortly show you some profound results concerning the atmosphere. in fact, the first results we will share with you -- and fran
will share the escaping ions from pluto, and jeff will talk about new terrain higher resolution. if i could have the next graphic, have a look at the icy frozen plains of pluto. who would have expected this kind of complexity? by the way, this scene is essentially adjacent, neighboring the mountain ranges that you saw a couple days ago. we can see that there are stark contrasts on pluto in terms of the geology. jeff will show you a lot more of that. i will show you a graphic. it is a flyover made as if you're i was 25 miles over pluto, and we can go ahead and start that. the flyover, faraway mountains and plains and the quicker belts. i think you will enjoy seeing it. you probably cannot lower house like even the television --
given the television. we cannot see it back here. there is. what you are looking is a scene that is about a total with of 250 miles across, 400 kilometers. these mountains soar as high above their local terrain as many of the mountains in the rocky mountains do here in the united states. the second flyover is of the plane that i just showed you which we are informally calling spot number -- sputnik. this scene is just as wide, 250 miles across. it gives you a sense of the scale of the features you are looking at. beautiful surfaces, and we will be seeing a lot more of this. this is 400 later per pixel and -- per pixel imagery. by next week, we will have much more. covering a lot more terrain.
i think with that, i'm going to turn it over to randy gladstone to tell you about some early atmospheric results. randy: if we could go to the first time step and i will show you what the atmosphere team is looking at. we have had to wait until we got past pluto and were looking back toward the sun to get our best data set. this shows you on the left and animation of what it is like when pluto goes in front of the sun as seen by the spacecraft. the curves on the right show you plausible atmospheric models for pluto's atmosphere. here we show you the data that we got coming down. each one of those points is 10 seconds but for every point on there, we get a whole spectrum. on the way out you see the greenline goes back exactly in the same spot so the atmosphere
is very symmetric on offices sides of the planet. -- on opposite sides of the planet, and the red line seems to be the more stagnant atmosphere. a glimpse of the data eliminates a couple of models that we were contending. the next slide shows you, that was in on just the surface of pluto -- zero and in --soomed in on the surface of pluto. we see the atmosphere all the way to the ground. from earth, that inner circle around close to pluto is the highest they can see from earth and they cannot see to the ground. they can only to the cash only see 230 miles or so above the surface. you can see this is a straight,
simple curve it drops slowly picks back up, and has another bend where it except it at the highest altitudes, that is molecular nitrogen as it starts to absorb the sunlight. lower down, the thing kicks in and even lower down, -- methane kicks in and even lower down those are hydrocarbons. each point on this graph will be a whole spectrum of colors in the ultraviolet light. we are looking forward to getting that data in a month or two. it is very tantalizing and already we are able to do science with it. the nitrogen atmosphere, because pluto is so small, it escapes rectally into space and fran tell you what it does. fran: we have had nine and a half years of this flight to pluto to think about, what are we going to see? we are seeing all sorts of things.
we have not got all the data down yet and we are really looking forward to getting it down. in the meantime, let me tell you a little bit about what we think is happening. randy has discussed, we know the atmosphere is nitrogen and we expect it is escaping because of weaker gravity on pluto. the gravity is a lot weaker than earth and mars. and so we know that it is going away. what we think is happening is that the wind that comes from the sun, the protons and electrons, charged particles streaming out at supersonic speeds will eventually crashed into, able interact with this escaping atmosphere, and this will produce, we suspect, a shock upstream. maybe it is not quite so stark. we know there is an upstream amount of nitrogen ions.
we have already observed that with new horizons. and that was energized by the solar wind and carried away by the solar wind. the real question is, what happens as it interacts with the denser escaping atmosphere that randy was talking about? what happens is, this graphic that you are looking at gives a sense of what we think is happening. as it escapes the atmosphere it is ionized and the size of this interaction region actually fills out beyond the scale of the satellite. it is a large volume. we have actually flown through this with the instruments. the next slide will show you what we think is happening, is that it has detected the ionized atmosphere. these are nitrogen mile
molecules -- molecules being ionized by the sun and they get an trend in the wind and get carried away. what we see behind pluto is a tale -- a tail of the ions escaping in the solar wind. when we get the rest of our data back in august or so, we really will be able to quantify when we add the data that randy and the atmosphere team, put that together we will be able to quantify the amount that escaping atmosphere. but we think it is, they saw models, is about 500 times per hour of material -- 500 tons per hour of material is escaping. we know that the escaping atmosphere of mars is about one
time per hour. this is so much more because of the weaker gravity on pluto. what is a consequence of that, if you add that up roughly over the age of the solar system, over the age of pluto, this is going to be equivalent to something on the order of one to 9000 feet of nitrogen ice that has been removed through this is operation and escape into the atmosphere. allen stern has worked with simon porter predicting what this will do. they had a prediction paper but jeff, the geologists will look at the geometry and tell us what happens. jeff: i am still having to remind myself to take the wraps. deck -- take deep breaths.
the landscape is astounding. let's go back to this picture we talked about a few days ago and remind us that the global view shows us the surface of pluto is peppered with craters, where as other regions such as the heart showed no craters at all. that is obviously younger and indicate that pluto has experienced a long and complex geological history. this means there active land creating processes operating in the geo current tide. some of the craters appear partially destroyed, perhaps by erosion. there are also parts of pluto's crust that have been fractured indicating some forms of tectonics. there are mountain building forces operating on pluto.
also some of the higher resolution images show that there are craters which may have been partially eroded away so he rose and processes also seem to be -- erosion processes also seem to be happening on the surface of pluto. the next slide please. let's zoom in to our pixels, and you can see the provinces of a two mile high mountains which we are now calling norge montes. there is extensive large-scale pitting, and this extremely young plane which makes up the northern half of the image. this image is oriented north and south. this is just a taste, of what i am sure is in the unsent data.
you see here is the names that we have assigned to them. we decided to name sputnik planum after the first satellite launched into space. the first nepalese to have a name on any planet in the solar system. let's have the next timestamp. let's look at this little region in the middle of sputnik planum. i saw this image the first time and i decided i was going to call it not easy to explain terrain. [laughter] >> this is the frozen plains of pluto. you can clearly see we have discovered a vast, crater list plane that has some strange
story to tell. for convenience, we have try to think about in various types of geological metaphors, which i will get to in a moment. judging from the impact craters it is clear that sputnik planum could not be more than a hundred million years old and is possibly still being shaped this day by geological processes. this could be a week old for all we know. in this image, you can see things about the small across as a mile a half. let's go to the next slide. the surface is broken up into segments which are listed on this slide. they are roughly 12 to 20 miles across. there bordered as you can see by what appear to be shallow troughs. some of these troughs have
darker material that seems to be collected their work erupted there, i do not know. but some of the troughs do have dark stuff. much more enigmatic are these clusters of hills, which i think you can see pointed out in the upper right of the frame. they appear to be elongated comps of mounds. the trace out the shapes of the troughs and circle the polygons. the other thing we can say about the hills their smoothness, their mountain like this -- their mountain like this, this is part of a bigger -- so when we get all of the data down we can tell you exactly how high they are and how they are shaped. this will help determine what in fact created these hills. we have, in thinking of the hills, we suspect they may have
been pushed up from underneath along the cracks but alternatively, a completely different explanation is that they are erosion resistant knobs that are standing out as the surface is being massively eroded and lowered. we can go either way, they can be popping up or emerging from an erosion boring process lowering the entire planes. the terrain in the lower right i think you can see there are polygons that appear to be etched by fields of small pits. it is a little tentative because there are still compression artifacts in this first -- data. -- in this first batch of data. i think the issue of whether that is indeed best scenes of the pits will be verified probably in a pretty
straightforward way. similar features of these vast pitted surfaces can be seen in the glaciers on the earth. in terrestrial glaciers, this is caused by erosion from wind and sun. on pluto the erosion mechanism would have to be a process called sublimation, which is when the ice turns directly from solid to gas in the way frozen carbon dioxide or dry ice does on the earth. what do these features tell us about sputnik planum? the polygons could be convection driven by the modest heat from the internal of pluto itself. the same kind of patterns you see across a boiling pot of oatmeal or a level lamp. these could be analogous to my
cracks, created by the contraction of the surface materials. we have ways to test those ideas which we will be reporting. as i said before, we will learn more about these enigmatic features and terrain in much higher resolution and stereo coverage which is still above the state -- the spacecraft, and will come down in the next few months. 20 years ago -- 20 years from now, they will look at the coverage and think we planned the entire counter on sputnik p lanum. space exploration favors us to put those interesting places in the sight of our highest resolution, highest quality data. this is going to be really fun. we also saw one more thing. can i have the next slide? zoom into this area that we just
looked at. so these dark smudges appear to be a line running from upper left to lower right, and may have been produced by wind willing across pluto's icy surface. so both on mars and earth, similar features are what scientists call win streaks produced when prevailing wind causes erosion of material behind. topographic obstacles. alternatively, and this is even more speculative, they may be deposited associated with glaciers like those seen on neptune's icy satellite. they have not been spotted yet so it is not that we have
spotted plumes or geysers or anything like that on pluto. of course, we will be looking for them in images received from the spacecraft. these are the early days of a close encounter analysis. as extraordinary and provocative as these images are, we are in the most preliminary stages of our investigations. we are still entertaining the widest range of hypotheses. we are acutely aware that jumping to conclusions leads to great peril. with that caveat, i pass it back to duane. duane: let's give this team a round of applause. [applause] duane: much more to come. now we transition into the q and a.
if you can wait for the mike raise your hand. give your name and affiliation please. >> stephen young with astronomy now magazine. can you clump by how much data you have on the ground now with how much will come down, and what will be the difference in the images when we see the uncompressed version? in very round numbers we have about 50 gigabits of data. that was made in the beginning about 10 days before the closest approach. that 50 gigabits is the full amount that we will store through the end of this month. as we look back on the system
so that includes data we have not quite taken. all of that will ultimately come to the ground with lots last -- lots less compression. on our lossy compression can accelerate our ability to get to the ground with the expense of some noise. some scenes will compress 10 to one or even better. it is a process at the beginning of the downlink to send home what we call a browser data set. a concerted effort to get everything to the ground that can be compressed will begin in september, and that will take about 10 weeks, maybe 12 weeks depending upon the us and schedules and other factors. we currently have ground less than one of those 50 gigabits. probably around one gigabits. i did not check this morning. we can get you a more accurate number if it is helpful. >> eric hand with science magazine. my question is for randy. you mentioned you think you have
ruled out this turbulent model for the what are the implications for transport of materials around the planet and does it have any effects on what you were starting to see on the surface with these wind streaks? is this an atmosphere that blows around all the time, or not so much? >> we still don't have a good measure of the lowest atmosphere . think of all the atmosphere on pluto is compressed into a thin layer know the surface, where the winds can be up to a few meters per second easily. those numbers are good enough to launch particles off the surface, micron sizes. it is not inconsistent at all.
we think it is fine or consistent so far. >> at this point have you learned anything that will help you understand what happens to the service of pluto as it goes through its long orbit? >> anybody else can chip in. we have understood the physics of volatile transport very well for a long time but we have not had the boundary conditions to be able to run those models in a way we would like to because we don't know -- we have not known until now the details of where the bright areas are, where the darker ones are, and that can relate to areas heat up, particularly those areas that might be devoid of volatile's. in the coming months we will see composition maps, topography
maps, and some thermal maps, all of which will make tremendous input and be able to inform us how to run these models. we are going to be living in a data-rich environments. pluto's orbit is elliptical and the planet's pull vector is tilted over. it is a pretty complex situation. we know how to model it and once we get this data on the ground a think we look at some spectacular results. i am very interested in how the volatiles transport over a long time around the planet and whether sufficient material moves around the planet to
actually or potentially bury structures or be removed from structures so that we see them at different times including costs seasonal cycles. the climate cycles have very long periods in some cases. everyone is familiar with the 284-year cycle. running these models will be fascinating. >> i am going to go to the phone lines. for the media, like we have had in all of our briefings, lots of meetings from all over the world, i'm going to try to get to as many of you as possible. please limit your questions to one. we are going to go to the phone lines, social media, then we will come back here. up first from nbc news, alan doyle.
>> thank you. this might be for jeff or allen. looking at the helically terrain and potential for plumes, can you say anything further about whether this is triton-like terrain? what similarities do you see and how do you hope to resolve the issue about those plumes or wind streaks? >> we are not making an announcement that we have seen plumes in any way. as far as for a strain to compare it with triton, it did not have a new horizons encounter. the data set we have for triton is about twice -- the best images we ever took of triton under the best of circumstances are only just as good as the pictures we have shown you so far and almost all of triton's
image, much worse resolution than the images we have shown you. it is hard to compare pluto with triton and substance because we need to see triton better. not only the -- not only did people see active plumes on triton, triton appeared to be covered with dark aligned markings that were interpreted as wind streaks. to the extent we cannot compare our good data with triton data and the best triton data was not actually over their win streak terrain, we think they are comparable. that is where we are. >> it is probably worthwhile for you to speak to the comparative differences to do with our detection of mountain ranges right off the bat. >> as people have for many years
since the 1970's at least wondered whether these very evolved young terrain's you see on the giant icy moons of the gas giants were made that way because of a process called tidal heating, where the moons interact with themselves and with the body they are orbiting around to basically heat up their interiors through friction, so people see io's, io's of volcanic moon of jupiter, they attribute it to this process called title -- tidal torque heating. pluto is every bit as geologically active as any place in the solar system. this is entered a fundamental question about our ice worlds able to do their own thing in
their own right, or are they dependent upon the help of the big planets they orbit around. >> next up, pete, "christian science monitor." >> this is for dr. moore. you were talking about the height of these hills inside these trenches as being above the surrounding terrain. is that the terrain trenches or the interiors of the polygons? do you have any depth estimates for those troughs? >> the height of the hills appeared and we don't have any quantitative data to say much more than this, they appear to be a little higher than the service represented by the polygons. we don't have the direct measurements of shadows and so on.
we will be receiving data that is six or seven times higher resolution and in stereo. >> next up. >> congratulations, great results. my question is also about these polygons. phoenix landed on polygons a few years back. is that a reasonable comparison at all? is there any relationship to them at all or are they totally different? >> you are right that when you look a large polygons elsewhere in the solar system, the service that is most reminiscent that you are looking at is the high altitudes -- i'm sorry, the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere of mars. the felix -- phoenix did land on
terrain near the arctic of mars. having said that, as i said earlier, we're entertaining two alternate explanations. right this second -- the geology team may weekly favor the idea that some form of internal convection may be responsible, but as i said, we are still very open to the idea that these could be due to contraction thermal contraction that forms the polygons, is responsible for the polygons on mars, that in combination with sublimation. the process could be more analogies to the processes operating on mars. it's too early to say. >> we are still on the phone line. we will do three more calls from the phone. we will go to social media and then come back here to the media in the audience.
next up, dave from "business insider." >> congratulations on the mission. you mention the beating heart of new horizons. there is only so much of that material left. what is the status of efforts to make a plutonium 238 and how is the current supply crunch limiting future missions? >> currently are plutonium is being managed by the department of energy. we do have a fair amount of it. it is approximately 17 or so kilograms of plutonium. that is available to us and can be used right away. we have additional plutonium. it is not have quite the energy density we need to use in these missions. we have also been given approval by congress and support by the administration to be able to start generating plutonium 238.
that is good news. the department of energy has created a process and they have verified it to take neptune m radiate it with neutrons, and in some of their reactors, and the reaction and sub providing one of the byproducts of plutonium 238, and that can be extracted and scored. -- stored. right now we feel really good that we are in the position to be good stewards of the planetary program for many decades to come. we have adequate reserves of plutonium on the ground and we will be starting late this decade, early next on a regular basis. >> i'm going to jump ahead a bit in the playbook for either alan or randy. do you see anything in the alice or wrecks data sets -- rex to
suggest [indiscernible] >> we will get back to you on that. >> less question before we get to social media -- last question before we get to social media. >> this one is a quick one. do we know enough about impact rates, cratering rates in the belt to make some guesses on the terrain? >> the way we estimate that is several ways. we have seen crater services on the moons of uranus and neptune. we can study the larger parts of the kuiper belt down to 10
millimeters across with hubble and other telescopes. by looking at the cratering records on uranus, neptune, and saturn, the numbers and objects and distribution of objects in the kuiper belt, there has been several studies which have derived an approximation of what the crater flux rate is. we can often tell you the service is extremely old or extremely young. it is harder to tell if it is an intermediate lee aged service. it is difficult to understand how it can be older than 100 million years. >> the world has embraced this mission with billions. social media is certainly a big part of that and nasa is always looking to reach out to new audiences. we will see what the world is
talking about on social media with jason townsend. >> our first question comes from a twitter user who asks, how do we know pluto's atmosphere is escaping? >> we have not yet actually measured the escape. we hope to. currently it is based on expectations, understanding the gravity of pluto, that it is relatively weak, and that we expect it to be escaping. furthermore, we know there is a little bit of methane. nova's missing in the atmosphere. we know from earth that methane gas absorbs sunlight. that heats the atmosphere, and it is the deposition of sunlight into the atmosphere that gives it that energy to escape the gravity. we are pretty sure that is happening. we have not a direct
measurement, but by august we will have measurements that will quantify the amount of the escaping atmosphere which we will compare with the atmospheric concentrations coming from the alice and rex teams. >> next question comes from jason. what sort of material could be responsible for pluto's dark s tains? organics? >> jeff, do you want to speculate? >> why not? >> i don't. >> the least crazy idea which i think we are still working on which will hopefully be determined by the spectrometer is that those dark stains, the composition of the stains are probably just higher hydrocarbons made by the irradiation of methane. methane can be irradiated on the service or irradiated more commonly as particles high up in
the atmosphere. they very slowly rain down on the surface. the streaks turn out to be when streaks. they are probably these very fine particles that slowly fall out of the atmosphere and collect underground. they get caught behind wind traps behind obstacles and they are downwind of the prevailing winds. >> this take one more and we will come back here. >> lets of questions about elevation. george says, will the data collected from new horizons be sufficient to create elevation maps? >> absolutely. both encounter hemispheres. the service you can see pretty much in the picture on the screen, a go they will always be at the same resolution topographic maps for the hemispheres of both worlds. >> i want to thank our social media audience.
we will answer those questions and -- questions. you can follow the conversation, and those answers will probably be on that conversation. there's a lot of conversation at #plutoflyby. i see a lot of hands here. name and affiliation, sir? >> stephen clark with spaceflight now. i know you're not prepared to make an announcement about geysers or plumes. do you need a direct detection of that, or is there some indirect way you can find evidence on the surface or in your thermal maps to say you found them? >> there might be some indirect means. i'm an old-fashioned geologist. i want to see unambiguous evidence. if we see it, we will tell you about it. >> ellen, for a long time you
have been a proponent of an been supported by the amateur image processing community and you started releasing the raw images. the raw image release was halted this morning. i'm wondering if that is a plan to continue or if you're going to keep the data for the scientists to interpret it before you show it to the public. >> we intend to continue to release all the images. however, as we are winding down from the peak of activity after the intensive flyby activities, we are going to move to weekly releases all in one set. that is a manpower thing. it's also helping us vet the images when we don't have an entire science team assembled. the data will really start to flow in the fall. after the next week or so, one of the things want to make sure the amateur community knows is we are going to turn to getting the plasma data and what is
so-called low-speed data's -- low-speed data sets. we are not sending imagery to the ground in the month of august and early parts of september. then we will start again. we will be on a weekly basis. you will be able to counter it like a clock. >> we will take a few more questions and then close out. leo? >> leo with irish television. we journalists absolutely love flybys, mainly because it is science at the speed of journalism during -- jouranlism. -- ournalism. i did not want this week to flyby without remarking [indiscernible] the imaging specialist has not been intimately involved in distributing the imagery. uri was the sixth person at the
front table, at every flyby. we completely relied upon him to provide us with imagery during those days. uri, i don't know if it is something about us journalists but nasa chosen air force pilot fighter pilot, from the dutch air force to deal with us, but he was our link with the imaging team's for my entire professional career. i did not want this week to pass without mentioning him. he was a great public servant. he was a terrific guy and i suppose as we in ireland might say, he was a mensch varied -- mensch. >> he was a great guy. even when i was a student, you could pick up the phone and he would mail you pictures of the latest encounter. it was fantastic. >> we also have some unfortunate
folks that passed during this time. the nasa family, we work very hard, but we care for each other very hard. we have lost some people yuri and others at the jet propulsion lab. our thoughts and prayers go out. the nasa family cares very hard when we lose folks. eric, and then we will take one more, and then we will close out. >> maybe we can bring up the image of the carbon monoxide rich terrain. wondering if you can tell us how thick it is. is it pure? are there other ices mixed it? how did it get there? is this something that can be welling up from within? how would you approach distinguishing between those two things? >> we specifically brought along
our composition team lead. without we might get a question about that. -- we thought we might get a question about that. at least a veneer, but he could be a deep layer. >> you said it exactly right. you only need a centimeter or something to produce and absorption of that depth. we know there is a lid that includes a lot of carbon monoxide. how that interacts is potentially quite subtle. it is soluble in nitrogen ice which is also widespread around the surface. how they combine, we don't really know yet, and we will have to do some detailed modeling. i like the scenarios that upwelling from below, but i do not think we are near proving that is what is happening. >> less question. >> -- last question. >> randy can you tell me if you
see any signs of atmospheric structure? >> those kinks you saw in the profile tell us where one atmosphere species is absorbed out and the other one takes up. that is not really structure, but just from the shape of those profiles we know how extended the atmosphere is. it might be a little cooler than we thought. we will get that later. >> ok. ladies and gentlemen, folks watching from all over the world, the pluto story is just beginning. follow the conversation on all the nasa social media accounts and of course go to nasa.gov /newhorizons. i want to thank folks for joining us and witnessing history. we have another press conference coming up next friday on the 24th time td.bd. thanks for joining us.
science never sleeps. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> this weekend on the c-span networks politics, books and american history. the road to the white house coverage features nearly all of the presidential candidates and begins tonight in iowa. at 8:00 eastern we are live on c-span from cedar rapids, iowa for the democratic party hall of fame dinner. all day saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern.
a little after 9:00, the national archives at kansas city shows how the u.s. government use propaganda during world war ii to persuade citizens to join the military, by war bonds, and keep national secrets. get our complete schedule at www.c-span.org. >> politico reports less than 30% of donations to the current presidential candidates came from donors contributing to hundred dollars or less. hillary clinton is in the middle of the pack when it comes to small donors, only 18% gain from
donations of $200 or less. 67% came from people who donated $2700 or more. presidential candidate hillary clinton talked about economics this week at a town hall in new hampshire. she outlined her plan for profit sharing and economic growth and then took questions from the audience. this hour and a half event took place at the dover city hall. >> wow. we will have to adjust the mic a bit. how is everyone doing this afternoon? my name is michael eris. i'm a former two-time mayor of the city of dover. i went to thank you all for coming out today. we all know why we are here. i want to take a minute and talk a minute about, if i could
about dover and a special place dover plays in the roles in the clintons' lives. this is the first town hall in new hampshire for hillary right here in dover. [applause] i can't think of a better place to do it. do you agree with me? one of the things i wanted to mention -- i was told to mention a lot of things, but i'm not going to do that. history and the record is the only thing we have to rely on when we go to elect a president. i want to tell you that through my experience in the last 40 years of being in public life here, i have never